The recent and increasing interest in consciousness has been concurrent in multiple disciplines including philosophy, psychology, and experimental neurobiology. There are many books on consciousness, but most are from a philosophy or psychology perspective. This book provides a molecular perspective which is unique. Since more and more researchers (molecular neuroscientist, biochemists, neurochemists) are moving into the area, this book fills an unserviced place in the market. It will provide a rigorous evaluation of consciousness at a level of interest primarily to molecular level researchers (neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists), chemists and perhaps physicists. The book opens with some introduction to the philosophy and psychology perspectives and endeavours to link the conventional study of consciousness with molecular level of study. The molecular basis is then examined from the macromolecular to the submolecular. Next, the molecular basis of abnormal consciousness using human disease provides insights--not done in any conventional books-- and finally the last section breaks down the consciousness into pieces and examines each at a molecular level.
Table of Contents
Part A – An Introduction to Consciousness.
- Chapter 1: The Nature of Consciousness.
- Consciousness: A Definition.
- Theories of Consciousness.
- Function of Consciousness.
- Is Consciousness an Irreducible Emergent Property?.
- Can Consciousness Be Studied by a Reductionist Molecular Approach?.
Part B – The Molecular Basis of Normal Consciousness.
- Chapter 3: The Macromolecular Basis of Consciousness.
- Neurochemistry of Brain Regions Involved in Consciousness.
- Neurochemistry of the Brain Stem.
- Neurochemistry of the Cerebral Cortex.
- Neurochemistry of the Neuronal Membrane.
- Neurochemistry of Transmembrane Proteins.
- Structure of the GABA-A Protein.
- Structure of the NMDA Receptor and other Proteins.
- Neurotransmitters of the Brainstem and Cortex.
- Ethanol as a Molecular Probe in the Study of Consciousness.
- General Anaesthetics as Molecular Probes in the Study of Consciousness.
- Bioelectricity and Consciousness.
- Molecular Basis of Brain Waves.
- Molecules, Electroencephalography and Coma.
- Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness.
- Copenhagen Interpretation.
- Schroedinger’s Cat Paradox.
- Information Theory and Consciousness.
- Classical vs. Quantum Information.
- Consciousness as an Information State.
Part C: Molecular Basis of Altered Consciousness.
- Chapter 6: Experiments of Nature.
- Disorders of Core Consciousness.
- The Molecular Basis of Epilepsy: A Disorder of Core Consciousness.
- The Molecular Basis of Stroke: A Disorder of Core Consciousness.
- Disorders of Extended Consciousness.
- The Molecular Basis of Dementia: A Disorder of Extended Consciousness.
- The Molecular Basis of Psychosis: A Disorder of Extended Consciousness.
- CNS Stimulants.
- CNS Depressants.
Part D: Molecular Basis of the Components of Consciousness.
- Chapter 8: Molecular Basis of Sensation.
- Chapter 9: Molecular Basis of Memory, Thought and Emotion.
- Chapter 10: Molecular Basis of Movement.
Don Weaver is an accomplished author and has written Medicinal Chemistry with OUP, Epilepsy and Seizures with Firefly Books, High Performance Computing Systems and Applications with Kluwer. He was trained as a clinical neurologists with subspeciatly training in behavioural neurology. Then obtained his PhD in organic/medicinal chemistry. He has worked as a drug designer and currently holds two patents which are now in human clinical trials. He is currently on the faculty of and Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie University.